Five Pens to Try – October 2015

There is an updated version of this list! Click Here

Not all of these pens will be a good fit for everybody, but I think they are all at least worth considering if you’re looking to try out something new.

1. For the Pen Cup: uni-ball Signo 207 micro

uni-ball Signo 207 micro

The Signo 207 micro doesn’t only look professional, it also writes very well. And unlike most other gel ink pens, the ink practically never smears on standard papers (and I really tried hard to make it smear). This is definitely one of the best pens you can find on your average store shelf, and they’re cheap enough to lose or loan without much thought. (see full review)

2. Your “Nice” Pen: Retro 51 Tornado

Retro 1951 Tornado

I’ve never owned a pen that I like to hold as much as my Retro 51 Tornado. It’s balanced nicely, looks good, and writes great. It’s perfect for writing letters, journaling, or just making you look good in a meeting where everyone else is using pens from the supply closet. And at 20-30 dollars, it wont break the bank. (see full review)

3. An On-the-Go Pen: Tombow Airpress

Tombow Airpress Orange

Need a pen that can write at odd angles or on dirty surfaces? The Tombow Airpess has got you covered. It’s also light weight, has a good clip, and fits nicely into a pocket. On top of it all, you could probably hurl the Airpress at a brick wall without doing much damage to the pen. (see full review)

4. The Everyday Writer: Sharpie Pen

The Sharpie Pen

The Sharpie Pen writes such clean and crisp lines, it seems like everybody who uses one instantly has better-looking handwriting. It’s a great pen for making lists or writing a quick note. I personally like the original model over the retractable and titanium models, as the original is relatively inexpensive and can be found in most stores. (see full review)

5. A Pen for Your Artistic Side: Kuretake Bimoji

Kuretake Bimoji

I should be clear that I’m a very inexperienced brush pen user, but I love to pull the Bimoji out and doodle all over my notebook. It might not be a great pen for writing, but you might want to bring it along to boring meetings to keep yourself entertained. At the very least, you’ll have the most unique-looking pen in the room. (see full review)

So that’s that so far. I’ve got plenty more pens to review, so this list will likely need updating eventually. If there are any pens I’ve neglected, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Review: Kuretake Bimoji, Brush Pen, Medium Point

Kuretake Bimoji

I don’t have much experience writing with brush pens like the Kuretake Bimoji, but I was quick to learn that they take a bit of skill to use. Writing with the Bimoji is a lot like writing with a fine-point permanent marker; its porous tip narrows to a point, creating a line width that varies depending on how you angle the pen in your hand. Consequently, the handwriting of an inexperienced brush pen user can look very sloppy, but once you got the hang of it, the Bimoji is a really fun pen to use.

The Bimoji stands out among all my other pens both for how it looks and how it writes. Using a light touch, it can create a really unique style of handwriting with clean lines and no bleeding. But despite the nice rubbery grip, I found it difficult to write with this pen for very long. At a normal writing angle, the lines produced by this medium tipped Bimoji are too thick, and contorting your hand to write perpendicular to the page is a difficult position to maintain.

Brush Pen Doodle

Really, the Bimoji brush pen is for artists (and for writing in Japanese characters). I personally couldn’t stop doodling all over my notebook with this pen, so I’d suspect those who have drawing skills might downright love it. Maybe a fine-tipped brush pen would be more appropriate for writing, but for now this Bimoji will have a place as my go-to doodle pen.

Kuretake Bimoji review

Extra Links

  • The review at Natto Soup mentions that the cap posts on the end of the barrel in a strange way. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that the cap was intended to post, so I just kept it off to the side whenever I used it.
  • JetPens has a short video of somebody writing Japanese characters with the Bimoji, and it’s beautiful – it looks like art.
  • Pocket Blonde’s review mentions that the extra fine tipped Bimoji is good for writing.